One hopes author Richelle Mead is not sensitive to negative reader reaction. If she is, this is not the week she wants to be on the internet.
Richelle Mead is an Urban Fantasy and YA writer with several series under her belt. Her latest release is the fourth and final book in her Dark Swan series, Shadow Heir.
And many fans are not happy with this book.
If you are a reader of the series but haven’t gotten here yet, I shall try to be as vague and spoiler-free as possible, but be warned...
There might be SPOILERS.
The problem many have with this book is that the end leaves some lingering questions. It does not read as though it is the last book of the series. One her blog, Richelle Mead offers insight into why she wrote the ending this way (as well as confirming that—at this time—there are no more books planned for this series.) She states that she enjoys not having every end tied up and leaving a little mystery at the end.
With all respect to the author…no. No, no, no. Is that clear enough?
This is The Sopranos going to black on those last frames. This is X-Files where at the end of the series we were just as confused as at the beginning. Giving an ending that is not an ending is a cheat.
The ending of a series is just as important—perhaps more so!—than the beginning. After we’ve journeyed with these characters and immersed ourselves in their mystery and their psyches, we have a lot invested with them. The payoff we receive with the ending is very important for us as we look back on these stories.
I really feel for writers in that position, those who’ve created a well-loved series where everyone is wondering how it is going to end. It can’t be comfortable to know that no matter what ending you create there will be a certain percentage who hates it, and that fans will be debating if the ending was a “good” ending or not for a long time.
Still, I would prefer an ending I hate versus not getting a true ending at all. I am counting on you, the writer, to finish the story for me. I have not stuck with you for years and years just to come to the end and have you tell me, “And what happens after this, I’ll have you decide.”
If that is what you give me, I can’t trust you. I can’t take another journey with you, because I’ll always be wondering if you’ll abandon me at a crossroad again.
I want every question answered. I don’t want any lingering mysteries. Maybe I won’t like the answer I receive but—darn it!—I don’t want to be forever wondering “What do you think happened with…?”
What about you? Are you with me in having your series tied up neatly, or do you enjoy some loose strings when all is said and done?
Danielle Monsch is a Romantic Geek Girl Writing in a Fantasy World. Besides torturing her poor, poor editor about her latest story, Dani likes to read manga and watch anime, debate the merits of DC vs. Marvel, and geek out over the latest and greatest romance novel offerings. Catch up with Dani on Twitter @DaniMonsch